By Brittany Piepgrass
With Wyoming?s last home game of the season honoring their seniors and the BYU women?s basketball team struggling to make baskets, the Cowgirls took advantage with a huge victory Wednesday night, 69-34, at Laramie.
Wyoming seniors dominated throughout the game with Hanna Zavecz leading the way with a game-high 28 points and seven rebounds. Justyna Podziemska, another senior for the Cowgirls, added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Dominique Sisk pitched in 10 points
?Well, Wyoming is a really good team and they know how to win,? BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said in a press conference. ?That is what a veteran team can do for you.?
BYU couldn?t control the ball on offense, giving up 21 turnovers. The Cougars struggled in the paint due to a sprained ankle injury to starter Lauren Riley-Varley. Wyoming took advantage inside the paint with 48 rebounds compared to BYU?s 33. BYU shots wouldn?t fall; they shot a low 28.3 percent while Wyoming lit it up from the three-point line at 37.5 percent.
?It was hard missing Riley,? BYU?s Megan Marks said on BYU radio. ?We definitely missed having her on the court tonight.?
BYU?s leading scorer on the season, Mallary Gillespie-Carling, struggled to find her offensive game with only four points, shooting 2-for-10 from field-goal range. BYU?s offense consisted of senior Ashley Cheesman, who contributed nine points and seven rebounds.
With the loss, BYU is now 7-8 in league play and moves down to fifth place. Wyoming finishes league play 12-4 and is in third place.
?They outhustled us and we didn?t come out with the intensity that we needed to,? Judkins said.
BYU led in the opening minutes of the first half, but Wyoming as four seniors knocked down treys, with Rebecca Vanderjagt, Zavecz, Podziemska and Sisk all contributing.
BYU then struggled to keep the ball on offense, going scoreless for seven minutes. The Cowgirls took advantage with a 16-0 run, shooting 4-for-5 from the 3-point line. BYU?s Chessman?s spin move in the paint ended the BYU drought for a 17-4 Wyoming lead. BYU had seven early turnovers to help Wyoming take advantage on offense.
Wyoming went 0-for-6 in the last minutes of the second half, but the Cougars couldn?t catch up and the score was 34-17 at halftime. Wyoming is 7-0 when leading at half this season.
Coming out of the locker room, both BYU and Wyoming struggled offensively. BYU went 2-for-8 and Wyoming went 1-for-9 from the field. Wyoming?s Zavecz continued to help her team offensively, making field goals right and left to pull away from the Cougars.
?It?s been a big learning experience for us this year,? Marks said.